Retreat centers

OK, my last post mentioned I was off leading a retreat for the women in my church. For the last four years, we’ve gone out to Sky Ranch for our retreat and I highly recommend them if you’re in the north Texas area and looking for a place to go. Everything from the food to the activities have improved every year and Melissa in the retreat center is just a doll.

So why do we go to a retreat center instead of a hotel? One factor is cost. We can easily get a meeting space for our large group sessions without having to pay extra for it and all our food is included. The second factor is activities. It might be hard to believe, but the women in our church choose to hang around the ranch to do things like water slide into the lake and whip down the zip line rather than go to the biggest outdoor flea market in the country. (It also means less the coordinator has to plan for.) The third factor is togetherness. There are no small groups holing up in their rooms holding parties that exclude others. Privacy is often at a premium, but there’s so much more joy to be had by hanging together as a group.

Where did I get the great wisdom that caused me to consider these factors in planning that first retreat? I worked with our youth group for four years before I took over the women’s ministry. I have been to several retreat centers in the area for various camps and know how important good food and activities are for a successful event. I’ve also seen how girls are about cloistering in dorm rooms when we’ve been on college campuses. We don’t change that much by the time we’re adults, really. All this added up to a choice that has turned out to be quite enthusiastically embraced by the women of our church.

Just a thought to consider if your retreat is having issues. Look to get back to the great outdoors rather than a great hotel.